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Tips for Managing Your Weight on Vacation

healthy eating habits diet

I’d like to welcome Cole Millen as a guest writer here. This is his first article on a healthy eating habits diet. – Michael

We’ve all been there. We’ve gone on a diet and been so very virtuous, losing a few pounds or even a significant amount of weight, when suddenly, terror strikes. We realize it’s almost time for vacation. Now, for most people, looking forward to a vacation is a joyful, stress-free time, but for those of us who struggle with our weight, it can bring about absolute fear as we say to ourselves “what am I going to eat while I’m there?”

Don’t despair. You can go on vacation, enjoy it to the fullest, eat well and come back with either no movement on the scale or movement in the proper direction (which we all know is down.)

Just follow these easy tips and most importantly, relax! Let’s start at the beginning and examine step-by-step how you can keep those unwanted pounds away on every phase of your trip.

Phase One: The Airport

The best thing about this phase is that, let’s be honest here, the food at most airports is not really all that tempting. However, you’ll still want to arrive with your tummy full of healthy food from home so you’re not inclined to seek out junk while you’re waiting for your flight. If you have a layover and need a meal, most airports offer healthful options, such as a grilled chicken breast on whole grain bread with a piece of fruit. Make sure to bring nourishing snacks with you, and stretch your legs by taking a walk around the terminals until you board. Bonus tip: if you find yourself at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, all the portions are so tiny it won’t matter what you eat.

Phase Two: The Hotel

Luckily, the internet makes it easy to find out where the closest grocery stores are in any location, so plan on heading out shortly after you arrive to stock up on low-fat instant foods, fruits and, if you have a refrigerator in your room, even fresh veggies to munch on. Remember that room service is there to accommodate your every whim, so tell them to withhold the cheese, mayonnaise and fried foods from your order. If you’re feeling really ambitious about your diet, bring a mini crock-pot with you in your suitcase. You’ll be able to make fantastic stews and soups easily with the exact ingredients you want. Take advantage of the breakfast buffet offered at most hotels and choose fruit, whole grain breads, hard-boiled eggs and yogurt. Forgo the minibar entirely. You know it can only get you into trouble.

Phase Three: Dining Out

So your vacation is in full swing and you’re heading out on the town. If you’re outside of the US, you’ll have a very easy time finding healthful foods at most restaurants because most other places in the world serve much smaller portions and fewer processed foods than we do here. In Italy, for example, the pasta that’s served before the main mail is in one layer on the plate, not mounded up into a heaping Everest of noodles. In fact, visitors to the US from other countries have been reported to think a prank is being played on them when they see the portions in US restaurants. If you are in the US, though, it’s still simple to find healthy choices. Do a little research into the area that you are staying at and read reviews that can help you find a healthy meal even in the buffet condensed Las Vegas hotels. Seafood is always a good bet, just make sure to order it grilled rather than fried, and hold off on the butter. Make a pact with yourself to avoid all restaurants that have a mascot. First of all, the food is generally not very healthy and secondly, the atmosphere tends to be less than desirable anyway. Before venturing out, enjoy a piece of fruit, a salad or a cup of soup. Research has shown that people who eat soup or salad before a meal tend to eat less of the main entrée.

While perusing the menu, search for the words baked, boiled, broiled, fat free, fresh, grilled, high fiber, light, marinated, multi grain, reduced, red sauce, roasted, steamed, stir fried, vegetarian, vinaigrette and whole wheat.

Avoid the words basted, battered, bottomless, breaded, buttered, cheese, country style, covered, creamy, crunchy, fried, loaded, platter, smothered, stuffed and value. While they sound delicious, they are often very unhealthy. Remove the skin from meats and make sure to choose lean proteins over fatty ones. Lean proteins include white meat, skinless chicken, fish, shellfish, beans, tofu and egg whites.

Tell the server to withhold the breadbasket from your table and treat yourself to delicious grilled vegetables or a spring green salad with low-fat dressing instead. Foods that are bright in color tend, on average, to be more healthful than white, beige or brown foods. Again, vegetables over fatty meats and carbs are what you want to consider. Of course, make sure to take a good, potent multivitamin to provide your body with all the nutrition it needs.

Above all, don’t forget to move. There’s so much to see and do on vacation, and you don’t want to miss anything. Walk as much as possible, take extra steps by parking far away from your destination and do walking tours instead of bus tours.

By following these tips, you can come home happy, rested and most importantly, healthy.

The above article was written by Cole Millen for